If every business is now a software business, as the saying goes, then many companies might benefit by automating their routines for creating and updating the software that keeps them in business.
A new product from the open source configuration management software provider Chef, called Chef Delivery, is designed to create automated workflows around enterprise-level software development, establishing a pipeline from creation to production.
The company developed the new product with the help of a number of its customers.
"Over time, we have a discovered a clear set of success patterns that allows our customers to move fast, and we have distilled those patterns in the new product," said Jay Wampold, Chef vice president of marketing. Chef's core software has been used by a large number of organizations, including Bloomberg, Disney, Facebook, Intuit, Nordstrom, Target and Yahoo.
Today, many organizations, particularly those in competitive fields, are under pressure to update their software products as quickly as possibly. This has brought about the devops approach, which seeks to blend software development and software operations into a unified process.
Chef's flagship software, Chef Server, provides the ability for administrators to script routine configuration operations, such as setting up a server, so they can be automated. So it was a short step to use these same tools and infrastructure to automate the development cycle as well, in effect giving organizations a way to ramp up to devops-styled production.
Chef Delivery establishes a pipeline, or workflow process, that each new piece of software must go through in order to prepare it for production use. Once the software is created, Chef Delivery walks it through the all the steps needed to prepare it for production, allowing operations engineers, compliance and security officers, and IT architects to review and approve the code, or send it back for further work.
Chef Delivery is not the first tool to offer this capability. The open source Jenkins continuous integration tool offers similar functionality.
Chef Delivery, however, offers a wider set of auditing capabilities, which are necessary for businesses that must comply with external or internal regulations around their software development, said Alex Ethier, Chef vice president of products. It also offers a set of metrics for assessing how effectively software is moving through the pipeline.
Chef introduced the new product at ChefConf 2015, being held this week in Santa Clara, California.
Chef Delivery will be commercially available this year, though organizations can now apply to be part of the beta program.